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Sally Primus, Heather Smith, Dana Donaldson, Kathryn Margaret Haider, Gavin J Roberts, Derek T Sprunger, Daniel E Neely, David A Plager, Jingyun Wang; Macular Thickness in Children with Down Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4502.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Retinal abnormalities, such as foveal hypoplasia, are noticed frequently in children with Down Syndrome. However, there are few reports of retinal imaging in this population. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate macular structure characteristics in children with Down Syndrome.
Twelve eyes from children with Down Syndrome were included in this study. Inclusion criteria included gestational age ≥ 36 weeks as well as a visual acuity (VA) better than 20/50. Cycloplegic refraction was reported as Spherical Equivalent (SEQ: sphere+0.5*cylinder). Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (fdOCT) was used to image retinal structure as well as obtain retinal volume scans across the fovea. Using a segmentation program of the software, the central subfield thickness (CST) and the thickness of inner and outer retinal layer regions were measured. The results obtained in our sample of patients with Down Syndrome were compared to the age-matched normative values reported by Wu et al (Ophthalmology, 2012).
SEQ ranged from -0.25D to +6.75D and VA ranged from 20/30 to 20/50. While seven out of the twelve eyes were within the normal range of CST, CST was significantly thicker in children with Down Syndrome (280.0±17.6μm) compared to normal children (247.1±21.3μm) (independent t-test, t=4.5, p<0.001). There was a significant difference in the central inner layer (103.5±17.7μm; t-test, t=5.1, p<0.001), but not in the central outer layer (t-test, t=2.0, p=0.05).
Children with Down Syndrome have significantly higher CST and inner macular structure. These pilot results indicate that children with Down Syndrome have an abnormal development of the macular structure, which is similar to retinal under-development in children born prematurely. Further study is needed to understand the causes.
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